IWC Schaffhausen Mark XV Pilot’s Watch

Introduced in 1999, the Mark XV followed the footsteps of its popular predecessor Mark XII. The case is slightly larger (38 mm) and the dial design is perhaps more striking. Instead of a buckle, the leather strap is supplied with a folding clasp.

This IWC pilot’s watch is equipped with the mechanical 37524 calibre automatic movement which provides the Mark XV with a direct link to its earlier predecessors, the Mark IX, Mark X and Mark XI.

To protect the movement against magnetic influences the Mark XV is fitted with a soft-iron inner case. The outer case is water-resistant to 60 m.

IWC Schaffhausen Mark XV Pilot’s Watch

The pilot’s watch tradition at IWC goes back all the way to the 1930s. The first series produced IWC pilot’s watch was the Mark IX with its rotating glass ring and marker to show take-off time. Another highlight was the calibre 52 S.C. (“Seconde au Centre” – centre seconds hand), which was manufactured for the German Luftwaffe and came with an extra-long strap for wearing over a flying suit.

In the mid-1940s, IWC started supplying the British Royal Air Force with the Mark X, a traditional wristwatch-size pilot’s watch. This featured the small seconds hand now made possible by advances in technology.

In 1948, the Mark X was replaced by the Mark XI, which had again been developed specially for the Royal Air Force. This watch was not only the choice of RAF pilots but also adopted by the officers of most other air forces in the Commonwealth, including those of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The IWC Mark XV Pilot’s Watch features a 38mm diameter case in stainless steel. Beating inside, the automatic IWC Cal. 37524 is based on the workhorse ETA 2892-A2 movement. It drives the hours, minutes, centre-seconds and the date display (at 3H).

Produced between 1999 and 2005, this watch was offered in black and white dial versions. They were provided with a leather strap or stainless steel bracelet.

IWC manufactured the Mark XV pilot watch in Classic and Spitfire editions. The Classic models have baton-shaped hands where as Spitfire models come with sword-shaped hands for displaying the hours and minutes.

Secondly, the outer chapter ring features rectangular markers for representing five-minute intervals in the Classic design except the ‘Battle of Britain’ model, where as numerals (5, 10, 15….60) are employed in the Spitfire style.

The references from IW 325301 to IW 325310 are Classic models, and those from IW 325311 to IW 325315 are Spitfire versions.

In addition to the regular production Mark XV models, IWC created a number of special editions of this iconic timepiece.

Among the limited editions, a popular timepiece is the IWC Mark XV Spitfire ‘Battle of Britain’ (reference IW325305). Introduced in 2000 to commemorate the Sixtieth Anniversary of The Battle of Britain, it was produced in a numbered, limited edition of 1000 pieces and sold only in the UK. Inspired by the original IWC pilot watch of 1936, it features a distinct dial design with railway track style chapter ring, bold Arabic numerals and cathedral style hands. This model does not have the date display.

Another special model is a white dial version launched in 2000 in a limited edition of 50 pieces for Gadebusch, a reputed watch and jewellery store based in Cologne, Germany.

In 2004, IWC released the reference IW325315, limited to 200 pieces, to mark the reopening of Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy.

In 2006, IWC Schaffhausen launched the Mark XVI Pilot’s Watch series to replace Mark XV.

Technical details

Model: IWC Mark XV Pilot’s Watch, reference number 3253

Versions

IWC Mark XV Classic

  • IW325301: Stainless steel case, black dial and black buffalo leather strap
  • IW325302: Stainless steel case, black dial and stainless steel bracelet
  • IW325305: Stainless steel case, black dial, and black buffalo leather, IWC Mark XV Spitfire ‘Battle of Britain’, limited edition of 1,000 pieces
  • IW325306: Stainless steel case, white dial, and steel bracelet, limited edition of 50 pieces for Gadebusch Jewelers, Germany
  • IW325307: Stainless steel case, white dial, and steel bracelet
  • IW325308: Stainless steel case, black dial, and brown buffalo leather strap, Falcon air edition
  • IW325309: Stainless steel case, white dial, and black buffalo leather strap
  • IW325310: Stainless steel case, white dial, and steel bracelet

Note: At present, we have no information about the reference numbers IW325303 and IW325304.

IWC Mark XV Spitfire

  • IW325311: Stainless steel case, black dial, and black buffalo leather strap
  • IW325312: Stainless steel case, black dial, and steel bracelet
  • IW325313: Stainless steel case, white dial, and brown buffalo leather strap
  • IW325314: Stainless steel case, white dial, and steel bracelet
  • IW325315: Stainless steel case, silver dial, and black alligator leather strap, Teatro alla Scala limited edition (2,00 pieces launched in 2004)

Movement
IWC 37524, automatic winding
Base caliber: ETA 2892-A2

Case
Satin-finished stainless steel case, inner case made of soft iron for protection against magnetic fields, fully threaded base made of stainless steel
Diameter: 38.00mm
Height: 9mm
Glass: Domed sapphire crystal, anti-reflective, resists pressure drop
Crown: Screwed stainless steel – Ø 6 mm
Waterproof: 6 bars

Dial
Black or white
Luminescent main indices (triangle at 12)
Date display at 3 o’clock
Typography: Arabic
Hour and minute hands coated with Superluminova
Centre second hand

Strap
Calf or Crocodile leather strap, 19mm lugs
Stainless steel bracelet, 19mm lugs
Stainless steel folding clasp with IWC logo

Manufacturing period
1999 – 2005

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